Designers need wallcoverings that create movement and variation in every setting. As a result, companies are showcasing evidence of craftsmanship in things like labor-intensive textures, hand-painted and handcrafted canvases, and full-scale from-scratch digital design on a variety of flexible substrates.

To tap into handmade art processes that offer new textures and tonalities, Designtex introduced Paint Dot, a PVC-free, non-woven wallcovering substrate featuring a grid of multi-color hand-painted swirls on a geometric repeating pattern. “It’s comparable to vinyl wallcovering in durability, installation, and price, while offering a sustainable material solution,” says Karen Gelardi, principal designer of Designtex.

Labor-intensive artisanal wall mosaics that add texture are in demand, too. The Living Wall mosaic by New Ravenna is handcrafted by artisans at the company. Made of eight shades of Serenity glass in matte and glossy finishes, the 1⁄4”-thick glass wall creates shadows and depth perception because the face of the glass is transparent and the color is visible on a separate layer. “Each leaf is individually cut and arranged to create the movement felt when you encounter a wall of verdant green in nature,” says Cean Irminger, creative director of Ravenna. “The craftsmanship and customization just blows the doors wide open on the limits of design.”

Companies pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship are using emerging technology to create innovative and eco-friendly substrates. Now, New York-based MDC is joining the party. The MDC Studio Digital Solutions collection brings printed murals and wall coverings to life on wood, metal, acrylic window film, and more. For instance, the Smooth, Suede & Artist Canvas is a vinyl wallcovering ideal for use as a wall mural, branding graphic, or headboard insert. Weighing 20 ounces per linear yard and available in 54-inch-wide print, it features low-VOC vinyl, Type II certification for scrubbability and durability, and a Class A fire rating. “MDC Studio allows customers to unleash their creativity with no limits and no restrictions,” says Dan Brandt, MDC’s director of product.